Mwinilunga UPND member of parliament Newton Samakayi says when UPND takes over government in 2021, there will be a transfer of power, functions and corresponding resources to local authorities.

And Samakayi says it’s evident that the PF government is not willing to enable Zambians to participate in making choices for service delivery and development.

In UPND’s weekly news letter to News Diggers! Samakayi stated that when in power, UPND would ensure that people’s aspirations for localised self-determination, through participation in development and service delivery, was not only upheld but delivered to them.

He stated that the party would harmonise all relevant legislation such as the Local Government Act, Planning and Budgeting Bill, among others, within a year to ensure that decentralisation was strengthened.

“Ensure that we facilitate the transfer of power, authority, functions and corresponding resources through legal means to local authorities in accordance with the principle of devolution. Ensure that, in accordance with our enduring motto- People power, Our power, Our land, harmonise all relevant legislation among them, the Local Government Act, Planning and Budgeting Bill, Executive Functions Act, Ward Development Bill, and various regulations within twelve months. This is to ensure that decentralisation is strengthened and legally anchored. This approach leads to truly empowering our people through legal means to decide and confront issues that challenge them in pursuit of good living standards,” Samakayi stated.

He stated that they would ensure that they strengthened substructures, such as ward development committees.

“Ensure that we strengthen substructures such as ward Development committees by capacitating areas of community mobilisation, planning and budgeting, project management to ensure effective execution of community projects. This will in turn lead to efficient and effective utilisation of public resources. Ensure we provide leadership in devising mechanisms to enhance Local Economic Development ( LED) through development of cottage industries to enable local authorities broaden their revenue base,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Samakayi stated that UPND would ensure that all revenue sources that were earmarked for local authorities either by the Constitution, subordinate legislation or recommendations from consultancy studies, were reverted to local authorities with minimum delays.

He added that they would ensure that the central government truly played its appropriate role in a decentralised environment, which is policy promulgation, standard setting, monitoring and evaluation.

“We believe that at this level of world order and the thrust with which world leaders are pushing for good governance, it is imperative that development choices are no longer in the hands of the higher level elected leaders but with the Local people themselves through their local authorities. The central government’s role should be that of providing policy guidance, monitoring, and evaluation of policy implementation to ensure adherence to national goals and international protocols,” Samakayi stated.

He observed that it was now evident that government was not willing to enable Zambians to participate in making choices for development and service delivery, adding that in PF’s last seven years of administration, decentralisation programme had slowed down in key areas.

“It’s now evident that PF government is not willing to enable people to participate in making choices for development and service delivery. In the last seven years of the PF administration, decentralisation programme has been severely slowed down in key areas that facilitate the actual transfer of authority, power and resources to the Local Authorities. It’s now our considered view that the PF has greater difficulties in respecting the will of the people by giving them functions with corresponding resources to local authorities , that is why they are procrastinating on implementation of of the NDP,” stated Samakayi.